We got in a ton of New Releases this week! Here’s some of the best we recently got:
TOTAL CONTROL – Laughing At The System LP
Received an 8.0 rating from Pitchfork. “However you might try to find the words for it, Total Control’s caustic charm is stunning and oblique. A sensible account of the band typically focuses on its parts—the associated groups, the touring configurations, etc.—as if finding ways by which Total Control is divisible gleans critical information for breaking through their cryptic sheen. With tonic, wry twists, and forever employing aphoristic brevity for the comic/cosmic dynamite that it is best reserved for, the band seems to indulge this with each new release, or tour, or whatever’s put on the counter. The bands European tour tape from 2015 was a sure reminder of this. Their new 12″, Laughing At The System, is a succinct statement, but it feels like the sharpest thing they’ve ever assembled. Written and recorded over the past couple of years in various lounge rooms, bedrooms, and rehearsal studios, across Melbourne, regional Victoria, and Western Australia, Al Montfort, Daniel Stewart, James Vinciguerra, Mikey Young, and Zephyr Pavey are—for the record—all accounted for in the process. Laughing At The System is bookended by a title track in two parts. The scattered mania of the opener is an unsettling beginning, with cascading madhouse-riffs somehow finding a ricocheting unison. The closing part has the familiar head-charge of Total Control’s most gnashing moments, with the guitars balancing the equation between running-too-fast and drinking-too-fast in one queasy commitment. With a brilliantly acerbic wit, we’re implored to gather that there’s some equivalences here. And it’s this kind of impulse that’s kept up throughout the 12″. Drizzled with Vinciguerra’s fraught fills, which have the rare quality of being unmistakably his in both electronic and acoustic form, this punctuation comes in and out of focus between elegiac moments and breezy experimentation, the latter including the elated instrumental ‘Cathie and Marg.’ Throughout, Stewart scripts a tumultuous wake for a flatlining reality, forever nudging the listener to second-guess themselves about the sincerity and intent. Far from cynical, but earnestly neurotic, the potency of the atmosphere that Total Control has mustered across Laughing At The System registers as a deeply commanding, though bleak, psychedelicism for the future.”
SCOTT MOORE – Slow Motion Pictures LP
SCOTT MOORE (guitarist for both LIMP WRIST and FLESH WORLD) debuted a live set in early 2016 and quickly took to the studio to capture five of his compositions on analogue tape. The medium complements the sound, with its rich palette of strident rhythms, rubbery synths, and Pro One squelch snaking through a murky textured haze. The choices of gear, sonic approach and composition reflect the clear connection of elemental breakdown paralleled in punk rock, industrial music, and disco. There’s a thick layer of crud on the lens these cuts are viewed through, making mystery and discomfort equal in their influence. In fact, the direction of this record was crystallized in the post-traumatic medication of a severely broken leg, as suggested by some of the titles. In that regard, Slow Motion Pictures was both therapeutic and ritualistic in execution. As an electronic artist, Moore is also one half of electro-collagist duo CONCRETE ISLAND, and half of the oscillator-and-drum-machine tripping improv duo ELECTION DAY.
BB EYE – Headcheese Heartthrob LP
The sound of ducks fucking! The sound of Little apple cores hopping around atop some cute boutique bootleg Plastics and Ramones T-shirts ! New wave is rotting. PS: NOT mastered by Mickey Young.
HEAT – 2nd Self Titled 7″
“Six primitive marching orders from San Diego’s Heat culling lean inspiration from the well of early ’80s Boston dirge and late ’80s NYHC beat down hardcore, with upfront drum beats busting forward to propel charging guitars that bouy tough, throaty vocals. Curt and to the point, with quick turns and drops in short quick bursts. The brute edges cut with stark simplicity recall Crossed Out’s sparse meditation on Impact Unit / Negative FX-style hardcore, though the burly vocals bark and bite between the curt toughness of Deathreat and more frightening spouts of vocal spillage. Recalls many influences, copies none as Heat slows to mosh, sets to stun, energetic rumbling that throttles in a broadly more expansive recording than hardcore originators, but shines in a stronger yet similarly manifest presentation.” —Ken Sanderson, Prank Records
HELTA SKELTA – Nightclubbin’ 7″
“There’s a weird one-off episode of Only Fools And Horses set in Florida, and a running side-joke is that Americans can’t tell the difference between a Cockney and Aussie accent, constantly confusing the two. It always comes to mind when I think of Helta Skelta. Given that Jon [Warpole]’s accent floats somewhere between them like a trans-hemispheric version of the ‘mid-atlantic’ twang, and that the tune itself plays out like a mix of Eddy Current [Suppression Ring] and Blur’s ‘Parklife,’ filled with Sleaford Mods (millennial John Cooper Clarke)-esque stream of consciousness wordplay and compounded colloquialisms from both sides of the equation, the comparison grows only more apt. Stylistically, the band has been leaning toward a sparser, more minimal post-punk vibe for a while, and this single is the clearest expression yet of this trajectory. One play is not enough; expect to be returning the needle repeatedly.” —Alex Leech, No Exposure
HIS ELECTRIC BLUE VOICE – Mental Hoop LP
You’re stuck in a rut, an existential routine that dawns on you every morning invading every corner of your mind, an inch of life worth living through the lens of a tallboy with the sound of mainstream television or static noise in the background? HIS ELECTRO BLUE VOICE responds with Mental Hoop, their proper follow up to 2013’s Ruthless Sperm (Sub Pop). Mental Hoop is a precise answer, an almost rigid foray into one’s internal daily battles, a state of mind you just start dealing with, a circular piece of metal you learn to circumnavigate. Let us go out on a limb by saying no other band in Europe operates the way His Electro Blue Voice does: no one is allowed in on their internal process, it’s airtight, sealed and meticulously crafted by their ringleader FRANCESCO MARIANI and his new found sidekick ANDREA CANTALUPPI. Every comma, every screech is there for a reason. Mental Hoop took three years to complete, a change in pace from the band’s past frenetic discography: gone is the organic earthy carefree approach of Ruthless Sperm now replaced by mind games, obsession, celestial psych and extra terror. No worries though, HEBV is as savage as ever, bringing it’s A-game and its usual brand of punishing dark-punk, Italo Hardcore, kraut beats, metallic noise and industrial. From post-Stooges in Ministry-land fever to Killing Joke’s industrial grind what ties together HEBV’s trash is their cyber synth washes of gutter noise and horror stories taken out of the AmpRep catalogue circa 2026. Previous releases on Sacred Bones, Sub Pop, Avant!, S-S Records, Holidays and Bat Shit Records.No Export to EU.
MUTANT VIDEO – Vanity of Life LP
MUTANT VIDEO’s outsider punk thug basement is dead and crawling with a drugged out Chrome kinship steady bashing out a soundtrack to some Derek Jarman Super-8s. Nothing but psycho fuzzed out chill grease on your Reeboks fist grinding grit worship ‘music’ here. A posthumous release for people who like early industrial music made by punks like Missing Foundation, Factrix and Minimal Man. 300 copies on 140-gram black vinyl housed in 24-pt reverse board jackets with a digital download card included. A one time pressing.
NIGHT PEOPLE – S/t 7″
Night People play driving, synth-touched punk rock and feature current and ex-members of Pura Mania, Fashionism, Spectres and Haggatha. Using the same desperation found in bands like The Wipers and the melodic energy of bands like Masshysteri and The Observers, they began writing music in Vancouver, BC, in 2016 and self-recorded a demo in June of 2017. The lyrics are heavily influenced by childhood religious indoctrination and iconography and how they relate to love, death and the modern world.
PLASTIC – S/T LP
Nevermind the darkwave, the latest tape of CHI’s moodiest trio gets the treatment just in time for winter. This is a fine synth record that stands out amid all this horrid post-coneheads hogwash and dull goth/postpunk. They know how to space out maybe it’s the cynicism that keeps them from being a grateful dead tribute band. A recommended listen for solitude in the dark.
RIK & THE PIGS – Blue Jean Queen 7″
RIK and his PIGS return! Three tracks recorded this past summer in Portland at the tail end of the Pigs’ West coast tour finds the current six piece lineup tight and ruling as ever. “Blue Jean Queen” kicks thing off in fine fashion with a rocking, Dictators-esque stomp brimming with snarled vocals and crunchy guitar hooks. The Pigs work up a new sax-washed version of “TV Bloopers” to finish off side A, which is backed with the brooding, bass-driven “Off/On.” Yet another excellent batch of tracks from your favorite gang of Olympia punks, and a fine companion piece to the upcoming LP on Total Punk. 500 copies housed in a full color textured pocket sleeve with lyric insert.
SWIFTUMZ – Game Six 7″
In the Bay Area, Swiftumz is a songwriter’s songwriter, beloved by small pockets of loyal fans, taking elements from the Jesus & Mary Chain and classic Bay Area punk-pop craft but delivering them in a completely personal way. After two albums and some singles, the Game Six 7-inch is a peak for the band.
TRANTULA – Weird Tales Of Radiation 7″
The second EP from Chicago’s Tarantula, the band featuring former members of Cülo with the additional layer of the always popular bass player. Just as catchy as the aforementioned Cülo, but a little less mid-tempo, and with more obvious classic punk influence. Great jacket art from DrugFace as per usual. Mastered by Geza X, a killer 7-inch.